Various - FILTER Magazine Presents: Milo Turns 50 (Cover Artwork)


FILTER Magazine Presents: Milo Turns 50 (2013)

FILTER Magazine

Towards the end of last year, Stephen Egerton mentioned the possibility of new Descendents material, leaving many fans salivating at the prospect. It's been a long nine years since 2004's Cool to Be You, so anything new with the Descendents tag on it is pretty exciting. OK, this is just a tribute album, but it seemed to be officially sanctioned by the band, considering they did an in-depth interview with FILTER Magazine to celebrate Milo Aukerman's 50th birthday.

The first track is a cover of "Suburban Home" by FIDLAR ft. Brian Rodriguez and it's OK, but as an opener it's a bit underwhelming, especially with the extended 30-second crescendo that adds nothing to the song. To be honest, one of the main problems with this whole tribute is that it's a bit underwhelming.

Second track "Kabuki Girl" by Mike Watt + The Secondmissingmen is probably one of the better tracks offered, as it has an ominous psychobilly sound which is kind of fun, but to say this is one of the better tracks tells you a lot about the overall quality here. I enjoyed the contributions from the Bronx and Good Riddance; they're not groundbreaking, but at least they're played with some competence and energy, and when we're talking about Descendents energy is a key word. They didn't invent the Bonus Cup for nothing.

It's a cliché, but decent covers usually do something new with a song while staying true to its roots. You could say the first half of this album stays true to Descendents' roots -- it's all fairly high energy and has a rough, punk sound -- but around track 7 the album really starts to take a nosedive. Everything turns to indie/lo-fi/electronic mush, which makes me question the selection process for this compilation. The artists have tried to do something new, but they've strayed too far from the song's roots. And yeah, they should be entitled to their own interpretation of a song, but I feel like Milo Greene, TEEN, Bobby Birdman, Thrillionaire and YACHT have totally missed the point of covering Descendents. I can't imagine Milo, Bill, Stephen and Karl sitting round listening to the latter half of this album and enjoying it. It's not what Descendents are about.

You could complain about the omission of certain classic Descendents songs, but, to be honest, I doubt they would have been done justice anyway. I feel like most of the artists thought it would be cool to alter the genre of their chosen track, but that's where the creativity stopped. Much of this tribute is half-baked and half-assed, and frankly some of the artists have just relied on the legacy of Descendents rather than create anything of quality themselves, which is an insult to such a well-loved punk band. Looking at the artwork for this release pretty much sums up how I felt listening to most of it.